MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Monday that its strong third-quarter results and a higher growth forecast give it ammunition to win over reluctant takeover target Botox maker Allergan Inc. with an increased bid at the appropriate time.
“We consider it every day. We do have some more dry powder,” Valeant chief executive Michael Pearson said during a conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results.
“We wanted today to be all about earnings, but it’s certainly something that we are contemplating and we may make that decision at any point in time.”
The company has partnered with Allergan’s largest shareholder, activist investor Bill Ackman and his investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management LP, in its hostile bid for the company worth $50 billion in cash and stock.
Pearson said that Allergan’s disparaging comments about Valeant’s business model are wrong.
“I think our third quarter performance and our outlook is discrediting those attacks,” Pearson said.
Valeant (TSX:VRX) (NYSE:VRX), which reports its results in U.S. dollars, said Monday it earned $275.4 million or 81 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter compared with a loss of $973.2 million or $2.92 per diluted share a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $718.8 million for $2.11 per diluted share compared with $485.9 million or $1.43 per diluted share in the same quarter a year ago.
Revenue grew 33 per cent to $2.1 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier and about in line with estimates.
Analysts had estimated $2 per share of adjusted income, 64 cents in net earnings and $2.08 billion of revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30.
The company said Monday it now estimates it will earn between $2.45 and $2.55 per share of adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, which is above the analyst estimate of $2.11 per share. And it anticipates $8.22-$8.32 per share in 2014.
For next year, Valeant is estimating $10 per share of adjusted profit excluding the impact of acquisitions, which is above the estimate of $9.69 compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Valeant had signalled strong results by preannouncing last month that same-store organic sales would grow by more than 15 per cent, fuelled by in excess of 10 per cent growth at eyecare subsidiary Bausch + Lomb acquired for US$8.7 billion last year.
But it exceeded those forecasts in delivering 19 per cent same-store sales growth in the third quarter, and 12 per cent growth for Bausch + Lomb adjusted for currency.
Pearson attributed the company’s second-best quarterly results in its history to the “complete turnaround” of its U.S. dermatology business.
He said the company has no plans to walk away from its offer for Allergan before a Dec. 18 special vote by Allergan shareholders called for by Pershing Square to remove a majority of the Botox maker’s board.
The two companies have also resorted to several lawsuits, including one in which Valeant accused Allergan of putting out false and misleading statements in an attempt to lower Valeant’s stock price and the value of its offer.
A California court will hear arguments next week on Allergan’s lawsuit accusing Valeant and Pershing Square Capital of using fraud and insider trading to further their hostile takeover attempt. They responded by calling the allegations baseless and an attempt to stop Pershing Square’s efforts to replace six of members of the Allergan board.
Valeant’s shares gained $5.10 or 3.77 per cent at C$140.80 in Monday morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They were up nearly five per cent at $125.05 in New York.